Review: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Crooked Kingdom Leigh Bardugo
Crooked Kingdom Leigh Bardugo Six Of Crows cover

Title: Crooked Kingdom 
Author: Leigh Bardugo 
Series: Six Of Crows #2 
Genre: Fantasy, YA 
Publication date: September 27, 2016 
Rating: ★★★★★★★★★★ 

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn't think they'd survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they're right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz's cunning and test the team's fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city's dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.

Review: Swear On This Life by Renee Carlino

Swear On This Life Renee Carlino book cover

Title: Swear On This Life  
Author: Renee Carlino 
Series: Stand-alone 
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, NA 
Publication date: August 9, 2016 
Rating: ★★★★★ 

When a bestselling debut novel from mysterious author J.Colby becomes the literary event of the year, Emiline reads it reluctantly. As an adjunct writing instructor at UC San Diego with her own stalled literary career and a bumpy long-term relationship, Emiline isn’t thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of a young and gifted writer. Yet from the very first page, Emiline is entranced by the story of Emerson and Jackson, two childhood best friends who fall in love and dream of a better life beyond the long dirt road that winds through their impoverished town in rural Ohio. That’s because the novel is patterned on Emiline’s own dark and desperate childhood, which means that “J. Colby” must be Jase: the best friend and first love she hasn’t seen in over a decade. Far from being flattered that he wrote the novel from her perspective, Emiline is furious that he co-opted her painful past and took some dramatic creative liberties with the ending. The only way she can put her mind at ease is to find and confront “J. Colby,” but is she prepared to learn the truth behind the fiction?

Review: Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

maybe someday colleen hoover cover

Title: Maybe Someday  
Author: Colleen Hoover 
Series: Maybe #1 
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, NA 
Publication date: March 18, 2014 
Rating: ★★★ 

Sydney is living in an idyllic bubble—she's a dedicated student with a steady job on the side. She lives with her best friend, has a great boyfriend, and the music coming from the balcony opposite hers is fast becoming the soundtrack to her life. But when Sydney finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her, the bubble bursts. The mysterious and attractive man behind the music, Ridge, gives Sydney hope that she can move on and they begin to write songs together. But moving on is harder than she expects, Sydney can only hope…. Maybe someday…

Thruths are written, never said.

This book has been recommended to me time and time again so when I finally picked it up, I was really excited. As usual, I dove in without a clue as to what the story would be about. I guessed it would involve romance. *rolls eyes a million times* But hey, exactly what I needed yesterday evening when I began reading Maybe Someday.

Anyway, I started it and rushed through the first couple of chapters. The writing is very simple, but engaging and down-to-earth in a compelling way. It gets you into the story very fast. The pages suck you in and don’t let go. It makes the book a very fast read with often a very relatable train of thought and some nice every-day-life metaphors.

How ever, I've learned that the heart can't be told when and who and how it should love. The heart does whatever the hell it wants to do. The only thing we can control is whether we give our lives and our minds the chance to catch up to our hearts.

The book starts out with Sydney finding out her boyfriend of two years is cheating on her with her best friend/roommate and likely has been at it for a while. This leaves her devastated, heartbroken and without a place to stay. In her desperation, she turns to Ridge, a guy she met not so very long ago. He helps her out of her precarious situation and offers her a room in his shared apartment. While she has been talking to Ridge for a while through text messages it comes as a complete shock to her when Ridge turns out to have a hearing disability. He has been born deaf and therefore only communicates through text messages and sign language. It intrigues Sydney, because she knew hem as a very talented musician. A very talented musician stuck with writer’s block who needs her help to write lyrics to his songs. Something she gladly offers in return for his hospitality and friendship. Before long however, there seems to be more than friendship in the air, even though Ridge is in a serious relationship… 

Hurts to see you everyday
Cupid shuts his eyes and shot me twice
Smell your perfume on my bed
Thoughts of you invade my head
Truths are written, never said
And if I can't be yours now
I'll wait here on this ground
Till you come, till you take me away
Maybe someday

I liked Sydney Blake and she deserved a lot better than what she got. She was kind, caring and more selfless than she should have been. But even as she tries to fight her own nature for the sake of others, she stayed remarkably true to herself. I wished she’d tried harder to stand her ground. She was a strong person who deserved to make her own destiny.

My feelings towards Ridge Lawson where conflicted at best. There were times I definitely liked him and he is an interesting character. The fact that he’s deaf gave the story a special dimension. Especially since it was the ‘hot, sexy’ love interest who had the disability this time around. Ridge was sweet, thoughtful honest, funny and loyal unlike any other. BUT (and that’s a pretty big but) the way he acted at times made my skin crawl. Yes, he was really honest to Sydney - but at the same time he was completely dishonest with Maggie. He’s loyal to Maggie, but not loyal enough to Sydney. He was jealous and very possessive of Sydney even if he didn’t have any right to be. He sometimes treated Sydney real shitty and while he made up for it later, it doesn’t change the fact that he did what he did. But most of all I couldn’t stand the way he kept dragging both Maggie and Sydney along. He was incredibly selfish. He fell for Sydney while he was in a relationship with someone else. It happens. But it’s the way you deal with it that defines what kind of person you are. And Ridge did not do it well. He kept telling himself that he wasn’t acting on his feelings for Sydney, but that he didn’t have sex with Sydney doesn’t mean he didn’t betray Maggie all the same. The way he and Sydney talked, shared things, were brutally honest with each other, kept expressing their love for each other.. Except for the physical part they were every bit a couple. It was not a healthy thing and they both knew it. I can’t help but feel he was playing her. He should have just made a decision instead of indulging himself and trying to get the best of both worlds. Especially since he never planned on leaving Maggie anyway.

I didn’t object to the cheating part per se. Hell, I’ve written stories myself that are infinitely worse - it’s just the way that Ridged dealt with it that I didn’t like. Sydney was more mature and more honest about it in my opinion. At least she felt genuinely guilty. He didn’t seem like a very healthy guy to be in a relationship with.

For her I bend, for you I break.

Which brings me to my next issue. The ending is hopelessly romantic, to the point where it even gets insufferably cheesy. Granted, I’m not big for ‘grand love declarations’ in general, but I never felt like Ridge really chose being with Sydney. To me it felt more like a combination of circumstances that worked out pretty well for him than a choice. I’m not doubting he loved her. It’s just.. you know. He mentioned like a million times that he was never going to leave Maggie.

I missed background. A lot. Sydney has a cheating boyfriend and a backstabbing best friend, but apart from a couple of terrible parents mentioned there is absolutely no one else in her life. She is not socially awkward, she hasn’t just moved… Why isn’t there anyone? Friends? Class mates? Also, she seems to be doing a master in college that has to do with music, but while she and Ridge talk music all the time - it never comes up. Doesn't she learn anything there? She was also never in school. In fact, she hardly ever left Ridge’s apartment at all since she first moved in there. I’m also really skeptical about everything Hoover did with the hearing impairment. Some things seemed very unrealistic, but I don’t actually know a lot about that disability so I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt on that one.

What I did like very much was the music aspect! The song writing that made for intense, emotional bonding, lovely lyrics and the beginning of the attraction between Sydney and Ridge. And their attraction was something to swoon over. I liked them together. Everything about that was done the right wayThe scenes where they were making music together were the most honest and the best parts of the book! I mean, it’s not as if I was completely opposed to Ridge. There were times when he made my heart beat a little faster. I’m not like, completely made out of stone or anything. 

We try so hard to hide everything we're really feeling from those who probably need to know our true feelings the most.

So yeah, I don’t really know how to rate this book. There were parts I really loved and others I kept rolling my eyes at. I didn’t love it, I didn’t exactly hate it. Mostly I feel regret. Because there is tons of potential and I feel like it could have been a lot better than it was.

Upcoming Releases: October 2016

Harry Potter and the Chamber Of Secrets J.K. Rowling, Jim Kay cover

Harry Potter and the Chamber Of Secrets 

Author: J.K. Rowling, Jim Kay
Series: Harry Potter #2
Genre: Fantasy, Illustrated, YA, Children
Release date: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Arther A. Levine Books
Pages: 272 pages

The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he's packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike. And strike it does. For in Harry's second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockhart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls' bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley's younger sister, Ginny. But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone -- or something -- starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects... Harry Potter himself?

Holding up the universe jennifer niven cover

Holding Up The Universe 

Author: Jennifer Niven
Series: Stand-alone
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Release date: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Knopf Books For Young Readers
Pages: 400 pages

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for every possibility life has to offer. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything. Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone. Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because somet

Replica Lauren Oliver cover


Author: Lauren Oliver
Series: Replica #1
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Release date: October 4, 2016
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 544 pages

Gemma has been in and out of hospitals since she was born. 'A sickly child', her lonely life to date has revolved around her home, school and one best friend, Alice. But when she discovers her father's connection to the top secret Haven research facility, currently hitting the headlines and under siege by religious fanatics, Gemma decides to leave the sanctuary she's always known to find the institute and determine what is going on there and why her father's name seems inextricably linked to it. Amidst the frenzy outside the institute's walls, Lyra - or number 24 as she is known as at Haven - and a fellow experimental subject known only as 72, manage to escape. Encountering a world they never knew existed outside the walls of their secluded upbringing , they meet Gemma and, as they try to understand Haven's purpose together, they uncover some earth-shattering secrets that will change the lives of both girls forever...

When the Moon was ours by anna marie mclemore cover

When The Moon Was Ours 

Author: Anna-Marie McLemore
Series: Stand-alone
Genre: Magical Realism, GLBT, YA
Release date: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Thomas Dunne
Pages: 288 pages

When the Moon Was Ours follows two characters through a story that has multicultural elements and magical realism, but also has central LGBT themes—a transgender boy, the best friend he’s falling in love with, and both of them deciding how they want to define themselves. To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town. But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.

aerie maria dahvana headley cover


Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Series: Magonia #2
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Release date: October 4, 2016
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 320 pages

Where is home when you were born in the stars? Aza Ray is back on earth. Her boyfriend Jason is overjoyed. Her family is healed. She’s living a normal life, or as normal as it can be if you’ve spent the past year dying, waking up on a sky ship, and discovering that your song can change the world. As in, not normal. Part of Aza still yearns for the clouds, no matter how much she loves the people on the ground. When Jason’s paranoia over Aza’s safety causes him to make a terrible mistake, Aza finds herself a fugitive in Magonia, tasked with opposing her radical, bloodthirsty, recently-escaped mother, Zal Quel, and her singing partner Dai. She must travel to the edge of the world in search of a legendary weapon, The Flock, in a journey through fire and identity that will transform her forever. In this stunning sequel to the critically acclaimed Magonia, one girl must make an impossible choice between two families, two homes—and two versions of herself.

last seen leaving caleb roehrig cover

Last Seen Leaving 

Author: Caleb Roehrig
Series: Stand-alone
Genre: Mystery, Contemporary, YA
Release date: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 336 pages

Flynn's girlfriend has disappeared. How can he uncover her secrets without revealing his own? Flynn's girlfriend, January, is missing. The cops are asking questions he can't answer, and her friends are telling stories that don't add up. All eyes are on Flynn—as January's boyfriend, he must know something. But Flynn has a secret of his own. And as he struggles to uncover the truth about January's disappearance, he must also face the truth about himself.

nemesis anna banks cover


Author: Anna Banks
Series: Nemesis #1
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Release date: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 368 pages

Princess Sepora of Serubel is the last Forger in all the five kingdoms. The spectorium she creates provides energy for all, but now her father has found a way to weaponize it, and his intentions to incite war force her to flee from his grasp. She escapes across enemy lines into the kingdom of Theoria, but her plans to hide are thwarted when she is captured and placed in the young king's servitude. Tarik has just taken over rulership of Theoria, and must now face a new plague sweeping through his kingdom and killing his citizens. The last thing he needs is a troublesome servant vying for his attention. But mistress Sepora will not be ignored. When the two finally meet face-to-face, they form an unlikely bond that complicates life in ways neither of them could have imagined. Sepora's gift could save Tarik's kingdom from the Quiet Plague. But should she trust her growing feelings for her nemesis, or should she hide her gifts at all costs?

the hammer of thor rick riordan magnus chase and the gods of asgard cover

The Hammer Of Thor 

Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Magnus Chase And The Gods Of Asgard #2
Genre: Fantasy, YA, Childrens
Release date: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 480 pages

Thor's hammer is missing again. The thunder god has a disturbing habit of misplacing his weapon--the mightiest force in the Nine Worlds. But this time the hammer isn't just lost, it has fallen into enemy hands. If Magnus Chase and his friends can't retrieve the hammer quickly, the mortal worlds will be defenseless against an onslaught of giants. Ragnarok will begin. The Nine Worlds will burn. Unfortunately, the only person who can broker a deal for the hammer's return is the gods' worst enemy, Loki--and the price he wants is very high.

the midnight star marie lu the young elites cover

The Midnight Star 

Author: Marie Lu
Series: The Young Elites #3
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Release date: October 11, 2016
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Books For Young Readers
Pages: 316 pages

There was once a time when darkness shrouded the world, and the darkness had a queen. Adelina Amouteru is done suffering. She’s turned her back on those who have betrayed her and achieved the ultimate revenge: victory. Her reign as the White Wolf has been a triumphant one, but with each conquest her cruelty only grows. The darkness within her has begun to spiral out of control, threatening to destroy all that she’s achieved. Adelina’s forced to revisit old wounds when a new danger appears, putting not only Adelina at risk, but every Elite and the very world they live in. In order to save herself and preserve her empire, Adelina and her Roses must join the Daggers on a perilous quest—though this uneasy alliance may prove to be the real danger. Bestselling author Marie Lu concludes Adelina's story with this haunting and hypnotizing final installment to the Young Elites series.

what light jay asher cover

What Light 

Author: Jay Asher
Series: Stand-alone
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Release date: October 11, 2016
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 256 pages

Sierra's family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it's a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other. Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other. By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb's past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love.

Gemina amie kaufman the illuminae files cover


Author: Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #2
Genre: Science Fiction, YA
Release date: October 11, 2016
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 608 pages

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed. The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault. Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion. When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands. But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope. Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

Fear the drowning deep sarah glenn marsh cover

Fear the Drowning Deep 

Author: Sarah Glenn Marsh
Series: Stand-alone
Genre: Paranormal, YA
Release date: October 11, 2016
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Pages: 304 pages

Witch’s apprentice Bridey Corkill has hated the ocean ever since she watched her granddad dive in and drown with a smile on his face. So when a dead girl rolls in with the tide in the summer of 1913, sixteen-year-old Bridey suspects that whatever compelled her granddad to leap into the sea has made its return to the Isle of Man. Soon, villagers are vanishing in the night, but no one shares Bridey’s suspicions about the sea. No one but the island’s witch, who isn’t as frightening as she first appears, and the handsome dark-haired lad Bridey rescues from a grim and watery fate. The cause of the deep gashes in Fynn’s stomach and his lost memories are, like the recent disappearances, a mystery well-guarded by the sea. In exchange for saving his life, Fynn teaches Bridey to master her fear of the water — stealing her heart in the process. Now, Bridey must work with the Isle’s eccentric witch and the boy she isn’t sure she can trust — because if she can’t uncover the truth about the ancient evil in the water, everyone she loves will walk into the sea, never to return.

September Wrap Up

What a ride september has been. I didn't read a lot, but what I read completely blew my mind. Three sequels in three of my all time favorite series. It really can't get much better than this. I still haven't written a review for any of those, because I don't know how to start. I'm afraid I'll somehow not be able to sell it right. That I'll somehow downplay it. But believe me, they were fantastic. Best one? TERRIBLE QUESTION. If I really had to choose, it'd probably be Crooked Kingdom. Kaz and his crew touched my heart in a way not many other characters have. They're criminals and they're full of flaws but they are true and honest in a way many authors can learn from. When I finished the book I kind of cried. Not because the ending was sad (even though it sort of was), but because I could not handle the fact that it was officially over and that there will never be another book.

Top Ten Tuesday: YA Villains

young adult villains top ten tuesday
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every other week I will post a list of ten favorites in a certain book-related category.

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Let's talk villains! Is there anything better? I mean, is there really? A good book can get a million times better if there's a good villain you love to hate. But creating such a character is not an easy accomplishment. It's challenging to get it right. Only think about all the times a book didn't get it right and you felt like tearing your hair out in frustration. A villain can make or break a book. They usually provide a great deal of action, terror, suspense and tons of fun

Choosing ten YA villains was not an easy job. I have a weakness for characters that are troubled. Characters that skim the line between anti-hero and villain. The ones that sometimes do terrible things, but can somehow be forgiven because you understand their reasoning and you kind of justify their villainous actions. You root for them. So there is a big difference between the true "big bad evil" and characters like Kaz Brekker, Draco Malfoy, Serverus Snape, Manon Blackbeak, Rhysand, Khalid Ibn Al-Rashid etc.. My heart would never forgive me for including the latter here, so here are the absolute worst of the worst in YA literature.

1. Voldemort - Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
The Dark Lord, You-Know-Who, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, Tom Riddle a.k.a. LORD VOLDEMORT. The king of all villains. He easily wins the top spot in this list. What isn't evil about him? I don't think he has a single good side. There is nothing that could possibly redeem him. He tortured and killed thousands, he brought Hogwarts to ruins, he killed his (assumed) most loyal servant to increase his own power, robbed wants and bones from graves, split his freaking soul in seven and he actually ROSE FROM THE DEAD. And man, do I love him for it. After all the evil he's done, I still feel like he is one of the most awesome and badass characters in the history of literature. A hundred years from now people will still be talking about him. DUH... He's freaking Voldemort.

2. The Darkling - The Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
I can't begin to describe just how much I loved the Darkling. There were times I really couldn't tell if he was a true villain or more like a misunderstood victim trying too hard. In the end he was definitely the first, but I couldn't help love him. The tragedy of his life, the burden of eternity he felt... It was almost enough to forgive him for the bad. Almost, which makes him irredeemable and therefore one of the best villains I've encountered so far. Dark, mysterious, devious and sort of sexy. I mean - need I go on?

3. The Commandant - An Ember In The Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir
There are villains you love, there are villains you love to hate and then there's the commandant. I haven't felt the urge to strangle someone so badly in a long time. But I feel it every time I think about her. The way she treats everyone, the terrible regime based on loyalty and fear she establishes. *shiver* In A Torch Against The Night we learn she might not always have been as heartless, but as far as I'm concerned she deserves to be worst villain number 3.

4. Dolores Umbridge - Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
In the grand scheme of things, she's hardly one of the 'worst' villains, but ooh how she made my skin crawl. Time and time again she managed to get me really worked up and angry. She's truly evil, not because she killed thousands of people - but because she was unfair, unjust, in league with the wrong people and just plain stupid. SHE WAS JUST A TERRIBLE PERSON, OKAY? The way she talked, the way she dressed, her scary obsession with cats and pink fluff. She is living proof that not all villains are dark and black and yes, she HAD to be in this list. Then again, Harry Potter would not have been what it was without professor Umbridge, so I also sort of loved her for being insufferable.

5. Adelina Amouteru - The Young Elites trilogy by Marie Lu
It's not often the top villain in a book is also the main character, but Marie Lu really worked her magic when she introduced Adelina Amouteru to the world. She starts out as a broken, weak girl looking for love and a sense of belonging. But she gets corrupted by a need for violence and vengeance and eventually she becomes this dark creature who has lost all sense of good and bad. I love Adelina, since she is the main character it is hard not to feel sympathy for her. I'm still rooting for her redemption, but as she is now she is nothing short of evil. And thus one of my favourite villains. People should write books from the villain POV more often. It's really interesting to see how twisted and reverse your morals and expectations start to become.

6. Queen Levena - The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
I have all sorts of reservations when it comes to the Lunar Chronicles, but queen Levana is not one of them. She is brilliantly wicked and cruel. She is in fact a bad guy worthy of fairytales. She abuses people, turns them into vile inhuman creatures and tries to take over the world in her perfectly glamorous armor. Perhaps she doesn't always make the smartest moves (she does get overthrown in the end in the most outrageously disrespectful, wrong kind of way but let's not get into that) but she does make the choices of a true villain. And she's one of the most interesting characters in the series.

7. Bellatrix Lestrange - Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Another Harry Potter one. I'm sensing a pattern. But it's not my fault that so many great villains are part of the same story. It just proves once again that it will forever be impossible to write something 'greater' than HP. Bellatrix Lestrange.  I think Helena Bonham Carter has been a huge influence on the way I see this character. If anything, she has made her more evil. Just think about everything Bellatrix has done. She tortured the Longbottoms, Hermione and countless other people. She worshipped The Dark Lord and was constantly trying to impress him by doing horrible things and... and AND SHE KILLED SIRIUS FOR GODS SAKE. If that doesn't make her villainous then I don't know what does. I will never forgive her.

8. Sebastian/Jonathan Morgenstern - The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare
Not my favourite series by far and not the villain most people would have chosen from it. But while Valentine Morgenstern was a decent villain, he was too much of a rip-off. He was a miserable attempt at Voldemort 2.0 so I could never take him very seriously. Meanwhile Sebastian was his own person and I liked the complexity of his relationship with Clary and Jace. Yes, it's gross that he sort of wanted to hook up with his sister - but he IS the villain after all. I loved to hate him and he definitely creeped me out at times.

9. Maven - Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard
The best part about Maven is that for almost an entire book I was one hundred percent convinced he was the good guy. I loved him and I rooted for him. Then he betrayed me. My heart still aches when I think about it, but it makes him a really interesting villain. The things he's done in his evil reign aren't as bad as say Voldemort's, but his clever scheming and the fact that he completely surprised me earn him a spot in the worst of the worst list. I still find it hard to believe he will never come back to me.

10. President Snow - The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Yes. Here he is. I've seen many list where he made the very top and maybe he deserves to come in second. I don't know. I always got the feeling that I didn't see him the way others did. The guy is a creep. He is horrible. The things he's done make me want to shoot another arrow straight through his heart. But I never got the 'OHMYGOD THIS IS WICKED' or the 'WHAT THE HELL SOMEONE SHOOT THAT GUY WHAT IS HE DOING TO MY BABIES' kinda feeling. Which is in complete contrast to what he actually did, because so many of my faves suffered by his hands. His cruelty and hunger for power is almost otherworldly. But while definitely part of the 'worst of the worst' he only made the bottom of my list.

I also sort of feel I should include Galbatorix from The Inheritance Cycle (Eragon) by Christopher Paolini because I first read those books when I was a lot younger and he actually scared the hell out of me. Which means I could never truly love him or appreciate him, while he definitely deserves to be in this list.

So tell me, who are YOUR favourite villains?

Note: Artwork found on Pinterest, impossible to credit.

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